A section of people and the opposition parties believe that citizenship law is unconstitutional as it classifies people on the ground of religion. Over 130 petitions have been filed in the apex court challenging the CAA.
The Supreme Court will hear on Wednesday a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act that came in force on January 10, PTI reported. The bench, which is likely to take up the matter includes Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna. A section of people and the opposition parties believe that citizenship law is unconstitutional as it classifies people on the ground of religion. Over 130 petitions have been filed in the apex court challenging the CAA. Among the people who have challenged the law are RJD MP Manoj Jha, TMC leader Mahua Moitra, AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi, and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. Some organizations too have opposed the law including Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, All Assam Students Union, Peace Party, CPI, NGOs ‘Rihai Manch’ and Citizens Against Hate.
These petitioners wanted the top court to hear the matter urgently. However, the apex court turned down the request saying that there was so much violence in the country and let the peace prevail first. Days after the CAA was passed, massive protests erupted in parts of the country with people and some political leaders calling it ‘discriminatory’. At some places, protests turned ugly as demonstrators indulged in violence and burnt buses and public properties in states like West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
The amended law makes Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Parsis refugees who have come from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh before or on December 31, 2014 eligible for Indian citizenship. This leaves out Muslims on the ground that all these neighbours are Islamic nations and it is highly unlikely that Muslims will be persecuted for their religious belief in a Muslim dominated country. However, some states have refused to implement the law saying that it goes against the basic tenets of the constitution as it does not allow the state to ‘discriminate’ among people on the basis of religion. Several senior lawyers including P Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal have said that the law is against Article 14, which calls for equality before the law.